Police, poll body hold talks on election peace-A A +A
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
CORDILLERA Police Chief Benjamin Magalong and Julius Torres, Commission on Elections (Comelec) regional director in Cordillera, met Tuesday morning to talk about the 2013 elections.
Magalong formally met the Comelec chief to start ironing out peace and order strategies for next year’s mid-term elections saying Abra is still on the top to the hotlist.
Magalong is confident there will be peace in the region next year with the new administration at the helm.
“This administration is different; they are not using the Philippine National Police and the Comelec to protect their interest,” he said.
Past administrations have used both offices to their advantage but is looking forward to see the elections under the new leadership, Magalong said.
Magalong said initial assessment has been done by both the police and the Comelec for the different provinces in the region gearing for the election season.
The PNP chief also said there is an improvement in the peace and order situation in the province especially in Abra where there is a continuous seizure of firearms and abolition of private armed groups.
Magalong said there is a 50-percent decrease in private armed groups in Abra with a previous high of over 80 groups. “We are on a continuous campaign.”
Magalong added the reported surge in guns being acquired by politicians in the region is an expected outcome of the coming elections. “We are aware of that and this is expected that a lot of people will be getting guns.”
However, the police have been consistent in its efforts to thwart gun running as well as apprehend loose firearms.
Magalong said the usual hotspots in the region still remain to be Abra, Kalinga, and the Mountain Province.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 24, 2012.